Steamed Lotus Pouches with Sweet Rice, Beluga Lentil and Shiitake Mushroom
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This delicious vegetarian twist to the Chinese Zongzi will definitely impress your dinner guests. Leftovers? These Lotus pouches are great to take for lunch! A few minutes in the microwave and they are ready to enjoy.
2 cup (500 mL) cooked glutinous rice (sweet rice)
7 dried shiitake mushrooms
3 large dried lotus leaf
2 tbsp. (30 mL) peanut oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. 45 mL) finely chopped peeled ginger
1 leek finely sliced, white part only
1/4 cup (60 mL) low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp. (45 mL) hoisin sauce
2 cup (500 mL) cooked black Beluga lentils
3 scallions, finely sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tsp (8 mL) Asian sesame oil
Asian chili sauce
1. Rinse rice well and place in a pot with 4 cups (1 L) water, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for, about 15 minutes.
2. In the meantime, snip off the hard stalk end of the lotus leaves. Place in a large pan, cover with hot water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain the water from the leaves, cut them in half and set aside.
3. In another bowl, cover the dried mushrooms with hot water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid. Discard the stems and finely chop the mushrooms. Set aside.
4. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce and hoisin sauce. Set aside.
5. Heat the peanut oil in a large skillet/wok over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, ginger and garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds until fragrant.
6. Add the soy sauce mixture and simmer until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes.
7. Add the mushrooms and saute just until the mushrooms are soft and all ingredients are mixed well, about 2 minutes.
8. Add 1/3 cup of the mushroom soaking liquid and stir fry until liquid is reduced, about 1 more minute.
9. Turn off heat. Add the lentils and scallions, season with salt and pepper and mix well.
10. Toss rice with sesame oil, ensuring the rice is well coated. Divide rice into 6 portions.
11. Place lotus leave flat on a work surface. Patch any holes with additional leaf pieces.
12. Place 1 portion of rice onto the center of the leaf. Make a well in the center and add a portion of the lentil mixture. Fold the leaf around the mixture tightly to make a rectangle about 3 inches by 2 inches by wrapping one side of the leaf over the filling. Then take the opposite side and overlap. Take the left third and fold it under the rice middle and the same with the opposite side. Repeat with remaining lotus leaves and mixture.
13. Place a bamboo steamer over a wok filled with enough water not to touch the lotus pouch. Add the lotus pouches with folded side facing down. Steam for 12 minutes. Remove from the steamer and unwrap the parcels. Serve immediately with Asian chili sauce.
Makes 6 pouches/Prep & Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes